Men’s Basketball: Matadors catch fire, blaze by Northern Kentucky to remain undefeated

Ron Rokhy

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Riding the momentum garnered by its two young stars, CSUN (6-0) extended its win streak to six and outlasted Northern Kentucky (0-4) 69-58 Sunday afternoon in the last game of the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation challenge.

Junior guard Josh Greene and redshirt sophomore Stephan Hicks once again led the Matadors’ charge, scoring 14 points each.

Greene — who kept his streak of leading the team in assists alive by handing out five on the night — also managed to finish his third consecutive game without missing a single free throw, connecting on all 26 of his attempts.  Hicks recorded his second double double of the season by pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player as he tallied 75 points, 36 rebounds and nine steals throughout the four-day period.

“(Hicks) played some great basketball,” said head coach Bobby Braswell in an interview with Northridge Athletics. “People know who he is, and a lot of defenses are locking in on him. But he still is finding a way to rebound the ball and is still finding ways to score and get to the free throw line.”

In addition to being named MVP, Hicks was named on the all-tournament team along with Greene, who himself scored 63 points, dished out 19 assists and collected 10 steals.

“Josh had a fantastic tournament,” said Braswell in the same interview. “He hit some big shots when we needed it. He also knocked down his free throws. Josh has shown great leadership. He has great energy. Josh and Stephan (Hicks) certainly deserve to be on the all-tournament team.”

The Norse started with an early 12-4 lead, but CSUN started a rally which had them heading into the locker room up 26-24. A 43-point second half capped off by 10 points apiece by Hicks and sophomore guard Allen Guei, who chipped in 13 points on 50 percent shooting.

Northridge remains the lone undefeated team in the Big West Conference, and its 6-0 record is the best season opening start since the Matadors moved to the NCAA Division I level in 1990-91